Jul 23rd, 2003, 04:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 8

Will be heading Melbourne this Aug. Can anybody advise where to eat and shop in Melbourne. Any place of interest ? Have sign up daytours to Great Ocean Road and Mt Buller but intend to self-drive for the next two days, but the following questions:
1) Where to go ?
2) How long does it take to travel from from Mel city ? I want to be back to city before it gets dark.

Any advise ???

Hua is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 04:43 PM
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Posts: 24
I used to live in Melb and there are lots of places to eat and shop! Chinatown in Little BOurke St is always a good bet. Go to Red Emperor or Sharks Fin Inn for excellent yum cha. And depending on your budget, I've heard that Flower Drum is really good but expensive. For cheap shopping go to Bridge's a tram ride away on Tram 96, if i'm not mistaken. Otherwise, try Chapel St for all the best brands. Bourke St Mall is pretty good too. Lots of brands and bargains. Not so sure about the day trips. I would recommend Phillip Island (approx 3 hrs) to see the fairy penguins but it'll involve you coming back late as the penguins only come back from the sea about 7-8 pm. Have a good trip!
Hsu is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 04:45 PM
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Another good place to go will be the wineries in the Yarra Valley if you're interested in wines. Ballarat's a pretty town too only about 1+ hour away. It used to be the Goldfields of Victoria. For really good Italian, take a stroll down Lygon St (heavenly gelatis and desserts!) or La Porchetta (behind Vic Market for good cheap pizzas and pastas). Greek's good at Lonsdale St.
Hsu is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:36 PM
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Posts: 445
This is a copy of a message I sent to another poster which may help you out.

Message: Hello - there is much to do in Melbourne. Here's just a few things for a start.

Melbourne has wonderful, wonderful restaurants, infact whole streets dedicated to different cuisines.

Try Lygon Street (and most of Carlton) for Italian.
Lonsdale St, City and Swan St, Richmond for Greek.
Brunswick St, Fitzroy (for everything from Asian to Middle Eastern and just about anything else)
Acland St, St Kilda for the best cakes around.
My personal favourite Victoria St, Richmond for Vietnamese.

Take a day trip to the Dandenong Ranges, have lunch or afternoon tea at one of the restaurants or tea houses.

Pack a picnic for an afternoon at Montsalvat - (an artists colony just 25kms from town).

Go to Sovereign Hill Ballarat for a look at our Goldmining past.

A trip for a day or a few days down the Great Ocean Road for some of the most spectacular scenery you will see anywhere.

The opposite end of Victoria is Wilson's Prom, the southern most tip of Australia's mainland, wonderful rugged coastline and great camping and bushwalking.

The Grampians, also spectacular scenery and great camping and bushwalking.

Take a day and go to Daylesford/Hepburn Springs - really pretty countryside and great craft shops etc.

Wineries - Rutherglen region in Northern Victoria, Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula all fabulous.

If you are in Victoria in Winter go to the snowfields, combine a trip to Mt. Buffalo with a trip to the Rutherglen district wineries.

The penguins, of course, at Phillip Island.

Shopping - the Victoria Market for clothing on Sundays or for produce on other days. Toorak Rd/Chapel St for designer wear, or any number of samples and seconds shops around town (Bridge Rd, Richmond for example).

Beautiful Gardens everywhere.

There are tons of things to do in Melbourne and Victoria, especially if you are prepared to go out of town.
Daneille is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Posts: 8
Thks for yr advice and it really helps alot.

Few more questions:
1) Is it safe to drive in Mel ?
2) Should I self-drive to St Kilda(heard abt the sunday mkt)/Richmond? If I were to take a tram/train, how long does it take?
3) To drive to Dandenong Range/Yarra Valley, will I be able to reach Mel before dark and what time shd i set off from mel?
Hua is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 445
In response to your questions - it is perfectly safe to drive in Melbourne - Australian's drive on the left hand side of the road (as in England)and the pace of driving is not as fast as Sydney, nor is the traffic as bad. Just be wary of the rule on roundabouts as there are a lot of them in Melbourne.

If you are staying in Melbourne city I would not bother driving to St. Kilda or Richmond. A tram will take you straight to Acland Street in St. Kilda and from there you can easily walk to the beach, the markets, the restaurants. Same with Richmond, I would take a tram which will get you right into the heart of Richmond. Either will only take you a short amount of time and the trams run very frequently. The trouble with both Richmond and St. Kilda is the limitation of parking (you can drive around and around looking for a spot for longer than it takes to drive there and back).

If you do go to St. Kilda a fabulous restaurant for lunch (or dinner)is The Stokehouse. Lunch you get the great views over St. Kilda Beach. Go to the restaurant upstairs and ask for a booth seat - probably the most comfortable seats of any restuarant ever. You won't want to leave.

Either the Dandenongs or Yarra Valley can be done in a day from the city. Leave the city in the morning around 8.30am and you will get to either in plenty of time to spend a full day touring around and be back home in time for tea. Both the Dandenongs and Yarra Valley take only about 1 hour from Melbourne (if you are sampling wines in the Yarra Valley be very wary that the alcohol limit when driving is .05). Most of the wineries open for tastings about 10am on weekends/weekdays.
Daneille is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 07:16 PM
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Posts: 3,057
Very good advice from Daneille. A word of warning about driving in the city centre of Melbourne - hook turns! They are there because of the trams and it means on some intersections (marked by signs above) you must turn right from the left hand lane, giving way to all other traffic and trams. Be very careful if doing a hook turn. They only exist in the CBD.
KayF is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3
You canget a personal guide for walking tours of the city at the main tourist info site in downtown Mel. These are conducted by long-time residents and are on a volunteer basis(i.e. no charge) This is a terrific way to pick up bits of history about the city. Also, for a days tour I would suggest the Mornington penninsula. It has been described, correctly I think, as the Monterey penninsula of Australia.
hull is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 07:19 AM
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Posts: 8
Hi all,

Thanks for all yr advice and it really helps alot in planning my trip. I'm so excited and really looking forward to the day. Thanks again.

Hua is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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I didn't see anybody mention the zoo. We thought the melbourne zoo was one of the nicest zoos we had visited, and it gives you a chance to see "australian" animals up close.
Doh is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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I'd agree that the Melbourne Zoo is very nice. Gravel paths, natural habitats, leaf covered walkways and much more "up close" than most zoos.

I really enjoyed the drive up to the Dandenongs, with the tree ferns and native flora of Vic. Just walking around downtown Melbourne is really a treat too. It's one of the cleanest and best walking cities that I've seen.
Clifton is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 04:02 PM
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What's the opening hrs of the zoo?

Anybody been to Dracula Restaurant? I been to the one at Gold Coast. Is it the same? Worthwhile going again?

Any recommended Italian Rest & Yum Cha Rest?

Hua is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 09:51 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 52
2 of my favorites are: Pepper Chili for Yum Cha (Sat/Sun lunch only) on Lt. Bourke St. near Exhibition and Il Solito Posto for Italian. That is on George Pde. which is a laneway between Collins St. & Flinders Lane right behind the Grand Hyatt.
mrsfletcher is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 10:44 PM
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Posts: 158
The best - and possibly most expensive - Italian restaurant in Melbourne is Grossi Florentino in Bourke St. A magnificent dining experience but a full dinner and drinks for two will set you back $250 - 300 Australian.
Pumblechook is offline  
Jul 28th, 2003, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 124
The gardens in Melbourne - Botanical and Fitzroy - are my favorite places to visit when I visit every couple years. And I think the trains and trams are terrific for getting around. Great Ocean Road and Mt. Buller are long day trips, as I recall, and it is winter there so the days are shorter. You might want to overnight in those areas.
Have fun! Melbourne is a city that has improved immensely in the 22 years I have been visiting it. But the people have always been great.
Mary is offline  
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